Businessman bemoans too many holidays .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ADANA - Complaining that Turkish citizens have "too many holidays," the president of the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Association, or KOBİDER, has suggested Saturdays should be included in full-time working days.

In 2008, aside from the 104 weekend days, there were 11 days of national and religious holidays, Nurettin Özgenç said. Adding to these administrative holidays, citizens had a total of 125 days off during the year, Özgenç said.

With the implementation of individual administrative leaves, off days may total up to 140 days. "Thus, we are working two days and getting one day off afterwards," he said. "Off days in Turkey may reach as high as twice the European Union average," he said. "We have to leave the practice of administrative leave and also cut weekends to one day."

Annual overtime work of 52 days would contribute 104 trillion Turkish lira to the economy, Özgenç estimated. "We request from the government to include Saturdays into full-time working days."

"Unnecessary holidays are putting an extra burden on the economy and they hamper competitive power. Factories and workplaces do not operate, transactions get delayed. All these should be considered," he said.

Turkey should allocate more time for production, Özgenç added. "Decisions to lengthen holidays is dragging the nation to lethargy. Long holidays are also disrupting production and trade," he continued. "Just as one gets used to working, a holiday of 10 days comes and disturbs everything. It becomes as if one is on annual leave. After all those days off, one finds it difficult to concentrate on working again."